Alabama Football: Bama NFL Blitz Week 13 – Run Backs Run!


Alabama football teams are timelessly known for having some of the best running backs in the country.  And not just in the starting position.  The running back depth chart is crammed full of future NFL talent.  While there have been mixed results in the NFL for those former Bama players in the backfield,  a trio of them shined in Week 13.

Thanks to the PPR Fantasy Football league, running backs in the NFL don’t get as much love as they once did.  Fans enjoy the excitement of long passes and amazing Odell Beckham Jr. style one-handed catches.  The league is about entertainment, and acrobatic wide receivers provide plenty of it for the NFL fanbase.

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Alabama football fans know that the true workhorses of the offense start each play in the backfield.  A good running back has the ability to intimidate defenses, leaving room for the quarterback to find an open receiver when the linebackers are keeping an eye on the back.

Three former Alabama running backs, including two Heisman Trophy winners, shined in Week 13 of NFL play.

Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram is running for his life this year.  The New Orleans Saints RB is having a career year that could be extremely beneficial for him.  If Ingram is selected to First Team All-Pro, his contract with the Saints will be void.  That doesn’t sound that great, but Ingram has had years of frustration with a system that hasn’t really bought in on him.  Free agency would come at year’s end, and Ingram could find a home where he feels more respected at his position.

That said, Ingram had a great game against a stout Carolina Panthers defense.  HIs 14 carries for 85 yards included a fun 72-yard run, which was the longest run the Panthers have given up all season.

Ingram also had six catches for 37 yards, giving him 122 total yards for the game.

Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry is a big man.  Alabama football fans best remember him for his wrecking ball style runs, as he rushed for 271 yards on 46 carries in the 2015 Iron Bowl.  King Henry single-handedly out-gained the entire Auburn offense that year on his way to claiming the Heisman Trophy.  Becuase of his tough play in college, Henry was picked up by the Tennessee Titans in the 2nd Round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Sunday, the Houston Texans were witness to the quickness of Derrick Henry. He racked up 109 yards on 11 carries.  He’s excelling at his position, even though he is sharing playing time with starting RB Demarco Murray.  Henry outran the entire Texans defense on a 75-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to put away the win for the Tennessee Titans.

Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins

Former Bama running back Kenyan Drake is best remembered for his 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 2015 National Championship game.  Drake miraculously recovered from a broken arm earlier in the season and recorded one of the key highlights of the season.

Drake always played the #2 back behind Derrick Henry during his tenure at Alabama. Yet, the Miami Dolphins saw something special when they selected him in the 2016 NFL Draft.  On Sunday, Kenyan Drake got the chance to show the world what he was capable of.

WIth starting RB Damien Williams out with a shoulder injury, Kenyan Drake got the keys to the Dolphins offense.  Drake turned on the ignition and never looked back, as he put on a career performance against the Denver Broncos.

Drake rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries, including a 42-yard run up the middle for a touchdown.

A Bama fan favorite, Kenyan Drake is making his presence felt in Miami.  As a result, one has to wonder if the Dolphins will eventually put their faith in Drake by giving him the starting position full-time.

Next: Saban Talks Sugar Bowl

In Week 13, former Alabama backs took the spotlight in NFL play with performances Alabama football fans have come to expect.  With four weeks left in the regular season, look for them to continue to do their part to help their teams make the playoffs.  Check back with next week to see who shines in Week 14 of the Bama NFL Blitz.